Ruth's musings

I have been dealing with breast cancer for a while, and have been sharing my journey with friends, family, and prayer partners. This blog brings all my updates together in one place, and leaves me free to muse on other parts of my life. Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Ruth Update, May 22, 2008

Dear Friends, Relatives, and Prayer Partners,
"There has been a partial positive response to chemotherapy treatment with some improvement noted in the inferior right lobe of the liver . . .  Likewise, there has been some improvement in previously noted hypermetabolic foci in the skeleton.  Careful follow-up is suggested.  Previously seen abnormalities in the right nasopharynx and vallecula are not identified in today's exam."
In other words, the chemotherapy is making the cancer unhappy.  Which makes me happy.  For now, the plan is to continue with two more rounds of Taxotere and Xeloda together, though with a lower dose of Xeloda and closer observation of my blood counts, and then to continue the Xeloda without the Taxotere for a while.  This should work out okay with our plans for the summer, though we forgot to mention the travel plans to my oncologist today.  I told Paul that I was not expecting bad news, but that he was welcome to come along on the visit.  So, he came along.  Bless his heart.
The bad news is the side effects are getting me down.  Last week's crashing of my white blood count was one, and we are dealing with that by lowering the dosage of Xeloda.  My finger- and toenails are another story.  All of them are showing signs of side effects of the Taxotere, and the one toenail is pretty close to coming off.  I have an appointment with a podiatrist for a few days before the Race for the Cure.  Whether I will be able to walk or not will probably be determined then.  I plan to show up, even if I can't walk.  The tea tree oil doesn't seem to be doing much good, though I carry on with it.  Another thing I can try is soaking my nails in straight cider vinegar.  I have only done that once.  I need to get into the habit.  I was surprised that I could soak that one toenail in straight vinegar, and it didn't hurt.  Yesterday, I had to ask Paul to open some zipper-type food storage bags for me, as my fingertips hurt when I tried to do it myself.  I can still crochet.  Yes, I can.  I can also take an evening walk with my husband most nights.  I don't have any blisters on my feet at the moment, and for that I am thankful.
Get your mammograms.  Do your self-exams.


  • At 7:33 PM, Anonymous girlexnihilo said…

    I will be starting Taxol on Monday, so you go before me... I'm sorry to hear about the fingernails. My doctor told me that the suplement glutamine, taken in very high doses, has been newly discovered to help with the neuropathy, so I will be taking that for the next few months. I don;t know how different Taxotere is from Taxol, but perhaps you could ask your doc about glutamine.
    Very good news about the chemo kickin cancer butt, though. Youre in my prayers.


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